What could be Apple and Samsung’s answer to the Pixel 3a?

Google released a new type of mid-range phone in the form of the Pixel 3a which offers a flagship camera on the cheap. Will Apple and Samsung answer the challenge or pretend there's nothing to worry about? We try to find out!
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here

84 Comments

25. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I don't necessarily agree with you, but I gave you a thumb up for your coherent theory. iPhones were - and are - productivity machines, but in a way that Macs are productivity machines.

39. TBomb

Posts: 1394; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

My thoughts are always changing. I only thought of my theory because of the question posed, so I'm not married to my idea. My creative peoples vs productivity focus comments come from where you are almost 100% sure that you will see a Mac, and that's in movie studios, graphic designers, and music studios and you'll see Windows at a vast majority of Fortune 500 companies (generally speaking that is. I'd doubt Apple is running in a Windows-based environment).

55. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Editing media files is also a productivity task. Also, all Microsoft products are - and have been - available on iOS. When I did my research - a few years ago - some of the best CRMs were only available on iOS. etc

29. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

I can agree with that assessment mostly. I do agree that a lot of apple users grew into loyal customers, but I'm not really feeling the premium part. I remember my first iPod. I remember the advertisements. They spent a ton of money telling us that Apple products are for all the people you listed above and that only those people "get it". That was the beginning of apple culture. Once people became loyal to the culture, it became easy for them to transition to the iPhone. Additionally, it became "cool" to get an iPhone and join the culture. I remember debating about getting an iPhone when they first came out (just dated myself a bit there lol) and feeling that I ultimately didn't need an iPod I could make calls on. There is still a ton of ad money being poured into apple culture, and I don't believe that the apple vs Android vs whatever will ever go away, unless one of the OS goes under. I do agree that most build quality is very similar now, and definitely agree that personal preference is King

35. TBomb

Posts: 1394; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I appreciate that feeback @Leo_MC and Mr.Malignance

58. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

We might have different opinions, we might like different brands, products, experiences, but that doesn't mean we are absolutely right or absolutely wrong. I appreciate people that have different theories (I do too), because those are the people hard to believe in bulls**ts (no matter where they come from). Cheers :)!

56. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I am a freak when it comes to finding flaws and I have an eye for them. I have always used flagship phones, but the iPhone took it to the next step; beautiful materials (think about 4: a steel frame between 2 pieces of glass, squared but not wide to feel uncomfortable; 5 and 5s with the laser cut margins; 6-8 design which makes it just as comfortable to hold as a thicker body phone; X with steel again) carefully put together (no squeaking, no sharp edges, easy to handle - except XR: I need to think of it as a 2 hands phone and I don't like 2 hands phones) to the experience - hardly any repairs (Apple replaces the phones most of the time), exquisite repair/support services - and software. Sure, the price follows the same trend - for some it might seem unreasonable (it's their right to think so) - but there are a few things to complain about.

60. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Apple does not make niche products. They never have. They made products that in the past, were higher and better than what was trending at the time. Like music players were not new. apple simply made a cooler more trendier music player that got more attention. Apple's laptops even with Sega Chips or PPC were never better than x86. X86 is lower in cost which would allow Apple to make even more cash. But they price their laptops so high, that they sell onlya couple million per quarter, while HP and dell still sell over 10M computers per quarter. Yet its the EXACT SAME platform.

23. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Apple users (I'm the second one to say that after Vancetastic) will tell you the same thing: iPhones are beautiful (or not), well built, high quality etc, but not luxury items.

61. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I'm surprised to here you say they are not luxury products. This post was the most logical post you have ever made. I actually am gonna gie you a nice compliment, not on just being right, but for actually being honest for once. 1000+ Kudos for you for at least answering without the usual fanboyish banter. So I now have a different perception of you. You actually can have a reasonable thought. I recommend you do this ALL the time. I love Apple products too. As a kid, thats all I ever owned. I owned ever original Apple Computer and Apple II family of computers back in the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a few macs, but I just never liked them and prices wasn't the problem. capability for the price was. NIX based platforms back in the day sucked compared to now. I love all 3 generations of the iPod Touch I had and I loved my iPhone 4's and I bought every generation of iPad, with exception of the Air 2 and my last iPad I bought was the pro 10.5. But recent products from Apple have had a slew of issues that fanboys don't want to talk about, because those problems are actually worse than what PC owners had to deal with. With Windows we mostly had to deal with OS issues, not hardware issues. With OSX, its mostly all hardware issues, and they are issues that even after Apple knew of them, continued to do the same thing for 3 generations or more of products as this video shows -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaJ8pDlxi8

71. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I have always answered in the same manner. I have never hid or ignored the problems I have found in Apple's products, quite the contrary (and this site is here to confirm that). The only person I care is me and I only care to use the products I need and want; I don't care if Apple, Samsung or Huawei go bankrupt or they start to build fidgets, just like I didn't care abut Nokia going out of mobile phone business, even though I was their client for a few years and I created a lot of content for their smartphones. I'm just here for the tech.

41. OneLove123

Posts: 969; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Nope, never thought they were a luxury brand. They almost went out of business 12 hrs ago. If it wasn’t for Bill Gates they would’ve been long gone. The sheep seems to think that “Apple” brand is God to them.

57. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Apple has never been a luxury brand. They are a company that sellls in most cases, highend mid-range spec'd products at premium prices. People especially poor people, associate high price with luxury. When in fact high price, could simply mean its higher priced vs a competing product. When you pay more, or if you are pawning off your products as "luxury", you are suppose to get MORE at a higher price vs less. apple continues to charge more and give less. If anyone considers Apple pro ducts as luxury, they are stupid and I don't pity them and that is why Apple is where they are now. because ignorance is obviously more bliss than reality. I recently watched this where this authorized Apple tech, shares over the years how apple engineers have made flawed decisions in hardware and where customers ended up paying, even in some cases after apple was sued after even being found out, apple knew about the flaws.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaJ8pDlxi8 Apple harms its customers by overcharging them for products and repairs, and even when its Apple fault, they still try to scam you of more money and even when the customer was right, the courts many times still sided with Apple.

20. Knownhost

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

"And as we’ve already established, the camera is the main thing an average consumer cares about now that most other aspects of smartphones are close enough." The average consumer cares about VALUE for their money, not geewhiz great camera nonsense. A good, even great, camera might be a selling point, but most people care more about battery life, screen quality, storage, etc, than camera quality because most phones already have decent, sometimes very good, cameras. Without the geewhiz camera, the Pixel 3a series is a budget series with a mid-range price. It is not surprising, though. The Pixel 3 series is a mid-range series with a flagship price.

26. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

There was the rumour that Apple is gonna re-release the iPhone SE name but this time it's gonna be an iPhone 8 with updated processor and camera. I think they could do something similar to respond (although I highly doubt they are bothered by this) like an iPhone 7 with no 3D touch to match the price. But we all know they don't roll like that - they simply aren't gonna chase Pixel 3a price - the iPhone 7 is already close enough and when the 2019 iPhones come out we can expect a price cut on the iPhone 7 anyway. Techies and reviewers love the Pixel 3a but I say the jury is still out on whether regukar buyers will be sold on a PLASTIC phone with all the metal and glass all over the place. This could still remain an enthusiast's phone.

30. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

I agree that the jury is still out, for the most part. Your theory of plastic is off though. Polls everywhere, including here, show that most consumers don't care about the plastic build. They might even prefer it, as glass shatters and metal prevents wireless charging

31. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Samsung has the Galaxy A series which on all fronts blows the Pixel out the water in everything, except maybe the camera. But the galaxy A80 is amazing. The downfall of the Pixel is not its price. It's the lack of good features. The only good feature it has is the camera. So unless all you are gonna do with it is take pictures, you come pout better just going and spending $400 in a real digital camera and just keep the smartphone you already have. Neither company needs an answer to the Pixel, because the Pixel doesn't create anything questions. The Pixel just shows OEM's can still make a cheap phone if they wanted too. but what would I pay Google $400 for their plastic ugly phone, when for $400 Samsung has a much better phone, with exception of maybe the camera?

42. kumicho

Posts: 3; Member since: May 20, 2019

You're comparing a Pixel 3a to a phone that hasn't even been released yet, nor has there even been any estimate on price (other than "less than $900")? Good grief.

33. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

The Galaxy A8, A50, A70 and A80 are all very good contenders. The Galaxy M30 is also a significantly better phone too and in all cases they all cost less than the Pixel. Samsung already has them beat. The A series has been selling like hotcakes and the Pixel 3A just came out. Google has alreayd lost. Apple doesn't need to answer because they aren't in the same pricing structure as Google, so Apple isn't even on the table. In fact neither needs an answer to the Pixel because Google isn't gonna sell more Pixels vs any Galaxy model. And apple isn't even in the running.

53. kumicho

Posts: 3; Member since: May 20, 2019

Honestly, I think that Google has one target in mind, and that's Apple. Period. If you look at the discounts they were giving for trading in phones, they gave crap discounts for pretty much anything but Apple, and for those they were offering $250+ for any iPhone stretching all the way back to the iPhone 6. They don't are about Samsung, LG, Motorola and so on because they're already getting the benefit of those phones running Android. And the Play Store. And Gmail. And Google Maps. And, and and. No, they want to go after each and every single iPhone user, and they're doing it with the two weapons they have on hand - Price and their Camera. And that's exactly what most people want in a phone is affordability and an amazing camera. My mother doesn't care one bit about the screen's PPI, or what material the back of the phone is, or any of that. She wants "good enough" for the CPU, RAM and storage, which the 3a hits. But what she really wants is a great camera. Same with almost all of my friends who post on Instagram, Facebook, and so on. Will be interesting to see if it succeeds in pulling away some (more) people from Apple.

62. User123456789

Posts: 818; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Samsung has A70, A80 and A90. Apple will keep selling iphones 6,6s, 7 and 8. Apple will never make a midrange to go against SD632/636/660 because they know most clients would buy the midrange iphone instead of ones above $700. That would mean less profits.

76. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1094; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Really well written article which doesn't happen on PA often lol. Great work!

80. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

On the iphone there's a magic wond icon above right corner, tap that - you'll have same result as pixels camera..

82. KingSam

Posts: 1425; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Re imagine the iPhone SE
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.